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An Outsider’s Guide to Melbourne: International comedian Joel Dommett’s take on our city

Hey Melbournians. Mebournites. Melbounosas? My name is Joel Dommett. I am an outsider from a little city far far away called ‘London’. It’s situated in an obscure unknown timid country called ‘England’. Not many people have heard of it. Google it. I am in your beautiful city with its bipolar weather for a month due to Melbourne International Comedy Festival. I’m going to sum this blog up in a metaphor, here bloody goes. Often when you look in the mirror you don’t realise what your best assets are because you see them every day. I’m here to be a stranger to remind you that you have great… ears… or something. Did that work? Basically, here are my favourite ‘assets’ of Melbourne from an outsider’s point of view.

Joel Dommett

Joel Dommett at the 2016 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala (Image: Jim Lee)

My top three favourite places are…

  1. Corner and Bench
    This cafe is situated in the CBD (I don’t actually know where that begins and stops but I judge it by the high ratio of people in suits to ‘normal’ clothes). It is a great place for breakfast and lunch or maybe, if you are crazy, a combination of those two things known as ‘brunch’. They have the best salads ever.
  2. Cumulus Inc.
    I popped here expecting small snack and a coffee and I ended up having a three course meal. Honestly the best food I’ve tasted in a long while and I sat on the bar and watched the guy make it. I get watched when I do my job every day and it makes it so much harder (doing comedy in my room by myself is REALLY easy). So I understand how much harder it must be for the people who are used to creating dishes in the privacy of a kitchen, to do it under the scrutiny of people who are about to put it in their mouths. It really added to the experience and I loved it. Well done chef man.
  3. Melbourne International Comedy Festival
    If you live here and you haven’t been to see anything on at the festival you are a big stupid idiot (I’m on at the town hall at 9.45pm). There are so many good shows (I’m on at the town hall at 9.45pm). The international acts are a good bet as they wouldn’t have been brought out here if they were rubbish (I’m on at the town hall at 9.45pm) but go and see some Aussie acts too (but I’m also on at the town hall at 9.45pm)… I’ve seen a show a day for the last two weeks and the standard is so high. You are very lucky to have one, if not the best comedy festival in the world, on your doorstep – so go watch some things with your eyes, listen with your ears and laugh with your mouth. I’m on at the town hall at 9.45pm.

Cumulus Inc.

Cumulus Inc.

Generally speaking I really, really like your city. The people seem to me to be mostly lovely. I’m aware I probably have a slightly silver-lined view of it but doing shows here compared to say Edinburgh Festival is a much more enjoyable experience. I have done gigs that start at midnight and people sit there and just enjoy the show bright eyed and bushy tailed. In Edinburgh, if a show starts at midnight you become more like a teacher at a school for people who are too aggressive to be in normal schools.
Basically, well done Melbourne you breed mostly good people. Obviously the cliché is that the food is great and that is absolutely true. Although I realised something while on this trip. Whenever I would travel all over the world, I would always think ‘Wow people are so beautiful here’, (this is the case with Melbourne too you lucky people) then I realised that people are not more attractive, it’s just that England is horrific. We are a horrific ugly bunch. I’m sorry. I think it’s the same with the food. You are really very good at it but it’s also that we are terrible at it. How do you get olives wrong? England will tell you. Thanks for having me in your city Melbs I really like you. Can I call you Melbs? No? Ok. Sorry.
Brunch at Corner & Bench

Brunch at Corner & Bench